Water & Wastewater Management

Water makes up between 90-95% of a beer. As a result good water is important to having great beer! Knowing about the water that doesn’t end up in your beer is also important as breweries can produce as much as 12 L of wastewater per liter of beer. Ontario is home to 253 breweries, with another 90 on the way. Unlike traditional industrial scale breweries, craft breweries are establishing in both urban and rural settings, and often have large impacts on regional water demand and wastewater treatment systems.

The Problem:

On average, a craft brewery will produce 3.5-4L of wastewater for every 1L of finished product. On a scale of 200bbl per day, the costs of discharge without overages in Ontario average $59,000 per year. Consistent overages due o improper wastewater handling within the facility can lead to additional charges on average $56,000 per year.

The Solution:

Reduce Water Loss and Usage

The number one contributor to excess water usage is lack of awareness. The introduction of water management SOPs in your brewery could effectively minimize unnecessary water usage and benefit your bottom line.

RiverLabs offers onsite investigation of water management practices to highlight current system inefficiencies, offers feedback on improving system processes, and assists breweries in drafting SOPs.


Wastewater Management

Following a thorough water analysis, RiverLabs can provide your brewery with recommendations for handling your wastewater. Recommendations could include changes such as waste diversion, pre-treatment options, wastewater recycling, and on-site wastewater treatment systems.

RiverLabs will also conduct characterization of wastewater to identify points in your production cycle where discharge of pollutants is maximized. This knowledge will provide direct benefits to your brewery, including:


  • Reduction in discharge penalties and fines.
  • Reduced strain on local wastewater infrastructure.
  • Improved environmental footprint.

Analytical Services

Our onsite analytical laboratory offers a full suite of services to help your brewery establish water and wastewater baselines for your brewery.

Wastewater Package

Wastewater analysis can establish a baseline and identify target areas to reduce wastewater pollutants produced. Packages include: Analysis of cBOD (or BOD), COD, Total Phosphorus, Total Nitrogen (or Total Ammonia) and Total Suspended Solids.

Analytical Package

Good water makes great beer! Assess seasonality and variation in intake water to ensure a consistent profile. Package includes: Full suite analysis of, ions (Chloride, Nitrate, Nitrite, Phosphate, Sulfate), metals (Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Sodium) and hardness which impact flavour profile of water.

Water Analysis

We offer a wide variety of other water related analysis. Should you require a specific set of analyses, do not hesitate to contact us wand it will be our pleasure to assist. Should you not be certain on the best course of action analytical wise, it will be our pleasure to discuss and assess your needs.

Contact us today to learn how we can assist your brewery with water and wastewater management!